Police search for 4th suspect in Graham shooting, 2 suspects on the loose

South Bureau Chief Drew Mikkelsen reports.

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Police are searching for a fourth suspect in a shooting at Graham-Kapowsin High School on Tuesday.

The fourth suspect, whose photo was released Thursday, was seated in the back of the car during the shooting. The suspect fled the scene in a car with the suspected shooter, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department.

The suspected shooter is also still on the loose.

Two 17-year-olds have been arrested for the shooting that wounded two Graham-Kapowsin students. The two captured suspects appeared in juvenile court Wednesday.

Both students who were shot are expected to survive after undergoing surgery.

The shooting may have been a result of a fight between female students the day before.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department released a photo of two suspects still at large. The one in the turquoise hoodie is the suspected shooter. They believe he has gang ties and are trying to identify him from street names or nicknames.

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The sheriff's department says it still does not have a motive for the shooting, but they believe it started as an arranged off-campus fist fight that turned into a shooting. 

According to court documents, one of the arrested teens has a girlfriend who got in a fight in the cafeteria Monday with another female student.

Prosecutors said following the fight a student told the girl’s boyfriend, “You need to get control of your girl.”

That prompted the boyfriend to call for a fight behind the school the next day.

Rumors of the fight attracted a crowd.

Two people in the group ended up getting shot after someone in the passenger seat of a Chevy Impala fired into the crowd. 

The suspects fled the scene in the green Impala. The sheriff's department says it was found overnight by a Tacoma police officer and impounded.

Police said they arrested the driver and a backseat passenger, the boyfriend of one of the girls involved in the original fight.

Investigators said the two teens they arrested have not helped identify the third suspect.

A girl who says she is a student at Graham-Kapowsin contacted KING 5 Wednesday morning and shared a video she found posted by someone else on Snapchat. It shows a group of people standing next to what appears to be a green Impala having an argument. Although the video is not the best quality, two people are seen standing on opposite sides of the car who appear to match those in the suspect photo. The girl who said she did not know if the video was taken before or after the shooting. She also said neither of the victims were part of the fight.

Officials say the two wounded male students ran back onto the Graham-Kapowsin campus after being shot. Officials say one student was found in the parking lot by the school football field. The other student was found in a locker room. The two were transported to Tacoma General Hospital.

Pierce County Sheriff's Department spokesman Ed Troyer said it was not believed the suspects were from the area. He also said they might have gang ties.

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Graham-Kapowsin High School is located at 108th Avenue E and Eustis Hunt Road E. The shots were reportedly fired on the Eustis Hunt Road side of the school, and only about ten yards off campus.

In the moments that followed the shooting, Graham-Kapowsin High School was placed on lockdown, along with nearby Frontier Middle School and Nelson Elementary. 

"Pretty scary. You never think it's going to happen at the school your children go to, and then you get a text from your child that says there's a shooting at the school, we're locked down," said parent Jolee Caroucher.

As parents rushed to a reunification site set up at Frontier Middle School, deputies conducted multiple security sweeps of the schools, to make sure the suspects had left the area. 

"I was actually kinda calm because we've been trained since really early on to know what to do in these situations," said Graham-Kapowsin ninth-grader James Baker. "The cops came, escorted us out, did a pat-down on everyone."

Baker says he texted his mom when the school went on lockdown to let her know what was going on.

"I knew he wasn't one of the kids that was shot, and I pray for them and their parents. But still, until I had actual eyes on him, it was scary. Because you never know," said Leah Baker.

After deeming the campus secure, the sheriff's department and Bethel School District allowed students to be released.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and students involved with this shooting today. This is a scary situation, and we are proud of how our staff, students, and families have been and are still reacting to it," Bethel Schools tweeted.

A Tacoma church will hold a prayer service Wednesday night to offer a space for community members to come together. The Life Center Rainier service will begin at 7 p.m.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department is offering a reward for information in the case through Crime Stoppers.  Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS.

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© 2017 KING-TV


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